Jun 182006

Well my 2nd day in Singapore didn’t amount to much as expected. By the time I had woken up for 2 hours again in the middle of the night, and counted 587 sheep before falling asleep again (just prior to ripping the throats of the girls talking on the stairs), I didn’t get up til 1030. By the time I chucked out some magazines and paper (only after ripping out some excellent guides to SE Asia and Japan in June’s Wanderlust and Travel mags) it was time for a quick snack then the bus across the causeway to Johor Bahru in Malaysia for my flight to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo.
As those of you who know me, you can imagine the sight of me. I ‘cheated’ at both ends by getting a taxi instead of a bus, but I had to lug my rucksack (held in a thin holdall), my daypack full of ‘toys’, the laptop, and some other bag that I still didn’t manage to ditch yet (well I did get a couple of heavy books given to me before I left!). These all had to be transported from taxi to bus at Singapore’s Queen Street bus station, off the bus to Singapore immigration, back onto the next bus for 5 mins to reach Malaysian immigration, then I was meant to get back on to the bus into town.
I decided the local geezer who offered me a lift direct to the airport for 40 MYR (Malaysian Ringgit..which is under £6 for a 30 min cab ride) gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. It saved me lugging the bags again. All that for less than a tenner. I took 2hrs, but I reckon thats about the quickest you could do it, and it could take twice as long if you get buses all the way, and its a busy time at immigration. Oh, and for those who want to know, Johor Bahru has free wifi in the classy “Deli ‘n’ Meals” cafe.
If I had followed people’s advice and took less luggage it would have all been hassle free, but to be honest, there wasn’t much I could ditch. I could have ditched the laptop, and all my camera gear, but I don’t think it would look very promising if I turned up to be a photographer for three months with 30 locally purchased disposable cameras…..In saying that I’m already looking forward to three months time when I can ditch things like mess tins etc.

Thought for the day… why don’t Asian cities just have one bus station so you don’t find out which one to get to, depending on where you are going?

Singapore tip of the day : Yaaaah, I made it through Singapore without going to Raffles and buying a Singapore Sling. And to be honest, the thought didn’t cross my mind. If I haven’t said it before, save yourself $23 (remember these are Singapore dollars readers, not US!) and being hovelled in the 3rd floor or whatever, and go to the New Asian Bar across the road – same owners, but something like the 56th floor (ok, maybe the 30th ish but I dunno), and in you’d get a cracking view of the city. Only thing is blokes need to wear long trousers, long sleeves and no sandals, and I’m on holiday.

Guess I better go and check in. I’ve also a 122 page document about group health and safety, river crossing, dangerous animals, how to dig a decent pit to sh!t in, and other marvels to read in the next day or so. (Note for Ken if you read this – I took this as a Word document so that’s a few hundred grams “shaved” 😉

 Posted by at 8:02 am

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